All Courts Police and Fire Content

All Courts Police and Fire Content

More than 20 headstones damaged at Pesotum plot

PESOTUM – Vandals tipped over and broke more than 20 headstones at the St. Mary's Cemetery in Pesotum over the weekend, said Dick Baxley, cemetery trustee.

Damage was estimated at $4,000, according to a Champaign County Sheriff's report. The vandalism occurred between 4 p.m. Sunday and 11 a.m. Monday, the report said.

Gibson City man accused in Dewey bank robbery

URBANA – A Gibson City man faces federal bank robbery charges in connection with a crime in northern Champaign County.

A federal grand jury indicted Matthew W. Borden, 30, for armed bank robbery of the Dewey State Bank, 204 Second St., that occurred Oct. 7. He faces a sentence of 20 years in prison, if he is convicted.

Fire at Piper City fertilizer plant forces evacuations

PIPER CITY – Piper City firefighters are hoping to do better on their next pancake and sausage breakfast fundraiser. Sunday's was interrupted by a major fire at a fertilizer plant east of town that destroyed a shed filled with equipment and chemicals.

"We got the call about 5 a.m.," said Assistant Piper City Fire Chief Don Hitchens, adding that several firefighters were already at the firehouse preparing for the 6 a.m. breakfast, so they were out the door quickly.

Landlord guilty of negligence

URBANA – It's been almost four years since Otha Lee Harmon died of carbon monoxide poisoning on a freezing night because of a faulty furnace in a north Champaign rental home.

On Friday, a Champaign County judge held his landlord, a prominent Champaign businessman, criminally responsible for neglecting that furnace in the basement of 613 E. Grove St.

Georgetown man dies after officer falls on him during chase

DANVILLE – A Georgetown man who was pronounced dead Wednesday night after local police chased him on foot died from blunt force trauma to the chest, according to preliminary autopsy results.

During a press conference Thursday night, Vermilion County Sheriff Pat Hartshorn and Coroner Peggy Johnson said that the initial autopsy showed that Curtis M. Sloan, 47, died of blunt force trauma after the police officer chasing him fell on top of Mr. Sloan.

Thieves stealing tools from area sites

URBANA – Tool thieves are hitting hard in Urbana, breaking in construction trailers and vehicles.

Lt. Mike Metzler said thieves were productive over the weekend, breaking into two construction trailers on Rutherford in the Beringer Commons subdivision.

Four Kankakee men on trial for robberies

URBANA – An alert customer of a Rantoul credit union who brought a halt to a series of central Illinois robberies was the first witness to testify Tuesday against four Kankakee men accused of the violent crimes.

Cheryl Cross told a federal court jury in Urbana that she planned to conduct a transaction at the Community Plus Credit Union, 526 E. Champaign Ave., Rantoul, about 4 p.m. on April 24.

Gray's attorney files motion to throw out conviction

DANVILLE – A Chicago attorney is asking that Kenneth Gray's first-degree murder conviction be thrown out, arguing the jury received unclear instructions on another option for his client.

On Friday, Stanley Hill filed a motion in Vermilion County Circuit Court, asking a judge to vacate the jury's verdict and find Gray guilty of second-degree murder.

Champaign man charged with having cocaine

URBANA – A Champaign man only recently released from prison is due back in court next month on charges that he possessed cocaine intended for sale.

Jeremy Dyson, 25, who listed an address in the 1800 block of McDonald Drive, was charged Thursday with unlawful possession with intent to deliver a controlled substance.

Ex-sheriff's deputy reaches plea deal

URBANA – A former Champaign County sheriff's deputy was sentenced to two years of conditional discharge and public service after pleading guilty to misusing records intended for law enforcement.

Ryan Garrett, 31, of rural Tolono, pleaded guilty Friday before Champaign County Judge Tom Difanis to the misdemeanor offense of violation of the Illinois Uniform Conviction Information Act.